KARNATAKA

`Venkatachala was a one-man army'

Staff Reporter

Venkatachalaiah commends the work of the former Lokayukta

Need for a comprehensive law to bring in accountability in electoral system stressed `Unholy nexus between politicians and bureaucrats should be tackled'

BANGALORE: N. Venkatachala, during his stint as Lokayukta should have spent his energy in shaping an institution of civic society to combat corruption to make his drive against the menace more effective, the former Chief Justice of India, M.N. Venkatachalaiah, has said.

Speaking at a function got up for the release of the book "Justice N. Venkatachala" here on Saturday, Mr. Venkatachalaiah said Mr. Venkatachala spent his energy on removing corruption in the bureaucracy. But it had still not been eliminated.

"Perhaps he needed advice. His drive would have been much more comprehensive if he had put in his energies into shaping an institution of civic society," Mr. Venkatachalaiah said and added that the drive against corruption needed cooperation and imagination from other quarters of society.

"I am telling this as your friend," Mr. Venkatachalaiah said looking at Mr. Venkatachala.

Mr. Venkatachalaiah commended the work done by Mr. Venkatachala towards cleansing public offices of corruption. Mr. Venkatachala was a one-man army against the corrupt bureaucracy.

But institutions such as the Lokayukta, working towards eradication of corruption, had not been to tackle the political system, which was the source of the menace. There was a need to bring in a comprehensive law to bring in accountability in the electoral system and maintenance of transparency in election funding. The unholy nexus between politicians and bureaucrats should also be tackled, Mr. Venkatachalaiah said.

V.S. Malimath, former Chief Justice of Karnataka and Kerala High Courts, said despite corruption being deep rooted in the system Mr. Venkatachala was optimistic about ushering in a corruption-free system.

Recalling the experiences of working with Mr. Venkatachala during his term as Advocate-General and as Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Mr. Malimath said Mr. Venkatachala was a sincere and committed person. Literary critic L.S. Seshagiri Rao said the book written by N. Dayananda gave a picture of Mr. Venkatachala's family and his native place.